Niagara Gazette

Features

August 20, 2012

"Nana & PapaVroom Vroom"

LaSalle couple spends leisure time drag racing vintage Chevrolets

Niagara Gazette — This is an inspirational little story about a grandmother who recently took up drag racing.

Granted, she doesn’t look like a grandmother and she surely does’t act like one, but she really is a grandmother. 

LaSalle resident Lisa Kresman has three grandchildren and you can only imagine how her two 5-year-old granddaughters and her 2-year-old grandson are going to feel when they go to the racetrack to watch their grandmother leave the other racers in her dust ... including her mentor, mechanic and husband of five years, Brian Kresman.

The grandkids call the pair “Nana and Papa Vroom Vroom.” 

The best part of this story is that it’s a life-long dream come true for Lisa, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Talarico (one of her racing sponsors) who remembers being star struck as a girl by Shirley Muldowny, the Drag Racing Queen.

Not surprisingly, she met her second husband, Brian, at the racetrack. “I rooted for this guy because he was from Niagara Falls,” she said. “Come to find out when we met a few weeks later that it was him, and I was rooting for the man I ended up marrying.”

Brian, a state Power Authority mechanic, is a respected drag racing veteran who has always preferred vintage cars. He also started young and remembers when his father, Bill Kresman, first took him to the Niagara Drag Strip that used to be out near the Niagara Falls Air Base. He and his dad built their first engine together.

Since then, he’s been racing vintage cars and currently runs a 1964 Chevy Nova. He’s a member of a group of racers that meet regularly in the Gasser Series, facing off on eighth-mile strip at Empire Dragway, just outside of Batavia, where the camaraderie is just as important as the speed. 

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